Every single week, I make stovetop popcorn from scratch for my kids. Not only is it healthier (unless, I’m lathering it in salt and butter), it is more flavorful and cheaper than purchasing bagged or microwave popcorn. A few years back, I learned the skill of making stovetop popcorn and I have never looked back. Once you have mastered the basic recipe, you can begin experimenting with sweet and savory flavors like kettle corn, caramel corn, cheddar cheese popcorn, and movie theater popcorn (give me all of the salt and butter). Our new favorite popcorn recipe is a Chili Lime Popcorn we recently tried at a local restaurant. Not only is it savory and flavorful, the minimal oil used in the recipe makes it healthier. I also replaced my traditional cooking oil with Malaysian Palm Oil for a better-for-you popcorn recipe.
Malaysian Palm Oil
Palm oil is commonly found in healthy foods such as nutrition bars, healthy spreads, baked goods, and more. The oil comes from a species of palm trees which produce oil-rich fruit. The oil is released when the fruit is squeezed and resembles the process of olive oil production.
With concerns over the trans fats present in partially hydrogenated oils, Palm Oil makes for a healthy substitute. Palm oil is available in red and golden varieties and rich in nutrients, including carotenoids, phytonutrients, and Vitamin E. Naturally trans-fat free, Palm Oil is comprised of a 50-50 blend of saturated and unsaturated fats.
Much of the Palm Oil used in the US is sustainably grown and produced in Malaysia. Unlike most of the oils on the market (canola, soybean, corn), Palm oil is non-GMO. Malaysia is the world’s second largest producer of palm oil, primarily because it is situated just north of the equator. Thus, these palm trees have been producing fruit for decades. As one of the more progressive, environmentally-friendly tropical countries, Malaysia was the first to produce and export certified sustainable palm oil. By the end of 2019, 100% of its palm oil will be certified sustainable.
How to Cook With Palm Oil
Palm oil is semi-solid at room temperature and can be red or golden in color. The consistency, neutral flavor, high oxidative stability, and ability to withstand high heat makes it ideal for cooking and frying foods. Palm oil retains the natural flavor of foods and has minimal absorption into foods. The oil has a long shelf life and is resistant to spoilage. You can cook, bake, and fry foods with Palm oil as you normally would. I have noticed that the foods I have prepared with Palm oil do not taste oily or greasy, and the oil itself does not have a flavor.
*Note* Palm oil does not require refrigeration
Chili Lime Popcorn Recipe
This Chili Lime Popcorn Recipe is rich in flavor with smoky, tangy flavor. In addition to the handful of ingredients you will need for this recipe, I recommend a medium-sized pot with a lid. If the pot is too deep, you may have a handful of un-popped kernels.
Chili Lime Popcorn Ingredients
- 2 tbsp Malaysian palm oil
- 1/2 cup Organic popcorn kernels
- 1 tsp Onion
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Lime + zest
- 1/2 tsp Salt
Heat 1 tablespoon of Palm Oil over medium heat with 3 popcorn kernels
When kernels have popped, add remaining 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
Cover pot and cook, shaking pot occasionally until popping slows (approximately 4-5 minutes)
Remove pan from heat
Combine spices and lime zest together in a small bowl
Toss hot popcorn with remaining tablespoon of oil, juice of 1/2 lime, and spices
While I would choose a bowl of hot, buttery popcorn any day, this Chili Lime Popcorn definitely rivals it. The recipe is light and lower in fat and calories than other popcorn recipes like movie theater popcorn but equally addicting. I personally enjoy the zesty, tangy flavors added by the spices.
*This recipe is dairy-free and gluten-free.
**Learn more about Malaysian Palm Oil by visiting PalmOilHealth.org.